now, granted, there’s hardly a dearth of black bean soup recipes out there. what i like about this one, though, is that the results are far tastier than you would expect after a mere 20 minutes of cook time. many soup recipes seem to call for simmering the soup for a length of time that feels nearly endless when you’ve arrived home from work, it’s dark out, you’re hungry, and it’s too chilly outside to cozy up with a nice bowl of cold cereal. this spicy black bean soup recipe will have you laughing at the fleeting idea that you might eat cereal for dinner (again…) in a mere 30 minutes, start to finish.
and it’s healthy! i use low sodium beans and broth so that it doesn’t get too salty and then most of the other ingredients are yummy plants. it’s one of those sneaky vegetarian (vegan/gluten free/dairy free) recipes where it’s just yummy. and, by the way, just so happens to contain protein but not meat. yay!
i love this black bean soup with a bit of sharp cheddar coarsely grated over the top, a few chunks of avocado, and some cilantro but you can certainly enjoy a wide variety of garnishes, depending on your dietary preferences and needs. tasty topping options include: tortilla strips/chips, sour cream/crema, cheddar or monterey jack cheese, cilantro, jalapeno slices, chopped tomatoes, minced red onion… the list goes on! when i’m not teetering on the brink of having cold cereal for dinner, i’ll even whip up a quick batch of corn muffins to bake while the soup simmers.
fun bonus fact about this spicy black bean soup recipe: it accidentally became my very non-traditional but effective night-before-a-long-run meal when i was training for a marathon. i am by no means a sports nutritionist and black bean soup is certainly not a standard recommendation for carb loading before endurance events but i discovered that it worked for me and stuck with it, to the point that i brought a bowl of it to the team pasta dinner the night before the actual marathon. yes, i was that girl and yes this spicy black bean soup is that good. luckily it works equally well for those weeks that feeeeel like marathons by about tuesday. and if you make a double batch, you might just make it through the week without any cereal for dinner.
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 of a large red onion (6.5 oz. / 180 g. / 1.5 cups)
- 4 oz. (113 g.) diced green chilies (canned)
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon – 1 whole jalapeño, chopped, with seeds (i usually stick with 1 tablespoon since i keep the seeds in)
- 1 slightly heaping tablespoon of ground cumin
- 30 oz. (850.5 g) low sodium black beans, undrained
- 16 oz. (473 ml / 2 cups) low sodium broth (i use chicken but use veggie if you want the soup to be vegan/vegetarian)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- your favorite toppings, such as shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, additional cilantro, sour cream, tortilla chips, fresh lime, etc.
- heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. once hot, add the onion, green chilies, garlic, jalapeño, and cumin. sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion is tender.
- add the broth and the beans with their liquid. using a wooden spoon, scrape any flavorful fond off the bottom of the pot and mix it in. turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- once boiling, turn the heat down to low-medium and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- if you have an immersion blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency (i prefer it mostly but not completely smooth). if you’re using a regular blender, carefully transfer the soup to the blender and purée it in batches. watch out for steam and splatters! once all of the soup is puréed, combine all of the batches in your original pot.
- stir in the cilantro and serve.
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